Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Sklba & The Great Spirit

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 13, 2006

What were those 17th century French Jesuits doing among the Indians of the northern Great Lakes? Teaching them to celebrate the solstice, of course!

It worked.

Tip to Terrence Berres.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($16,692 to go):
$35,000.00 $18,307.98
48% 52%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 23 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 17, 2006 1:06 AM ET USA

    Bishop Sklba, Bishop Sklba, Bishop Sklba, if only you were around when Fathers John de Brebeuf & Isaac Jogues & other Jesuits & oblate missioaries gave their lives in witness to the Fullness of the Faith in the Roman Catholic Church, as these North American martyrs were tortured, mutilated & tomahawked to death. Now, Bp. Sklba, you make me sick with your participation in a pagan ritual, &, as Berres notes, you've moved it to the 3rd Sunday of Advent. May Jesus have mercy on your soul.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Dec. 15, 2006 9:01 AM ET USA

    I suggest you guys hold an immediate pow wow with the Bishop to discuss this.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Dec. 14, 2006 11:06 PM ET USA

    Father Dusty, whatever that Mass in Gaylord was, it was not amusing. I do agree that intercession for that place is needed.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 5:41 PM ET USA

    Dusty- The monniker "JUDAS" was given to me by this website.(I didn't choose it) We have some wonderful priests in our diocese, but unfortunately have too many schismatic parishes and new-age practices for a diocese our size. I will most certainly keep you in my prayers. Please keep me in yours.

  • Posted by: dusty - Dec. 14, 2006 2:38 PM ET USA

    OUCH! I'm a priest of the Gaylord Diocese and was amused by our Native American Mass but now am shocked to see someone from our Diocese sign themself "Judas". Mary, please intercede for your Son's Church in Gaylord.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 12:59 PM ET USA

    HOW

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 12:38 PM ET USA

    Get with the times, guys! We just had one of these in our Gaylord diocese at the cathedral, and ours was complete with "smudging"(Google it...you won't believe me if I tell you...). Next you'll want us to give up our "Howling at the Moon" ceremony. Kill joys!

  • Posted by: Genuflect - Dec. 13, 2006 6:09 PM ET USA

    Oh the shame...I'm in this Diocese! First Weakland, and now his auxillary Sklba! I think Dolan was forced to cut a deal. Pray for us!

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Dec. 13, 2006 5:57 PM ET USA

    Maybe, the Creator will get upset that they're not giving more attention to His Son's birthday and hit them with a minus 33 below zero or even a blizzard with 33 feet of snow and that will be that!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 13, 2006 5:42 PM ET USA

    This is definitely an Indian (sorry, Native American) parish. It was first a mission to the Indians of the region. It has a special devotion to Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha and has three parish organizations: one for the elderly, one for the young and one for ecomenical affairs in conjunction with the Signenhauk Interfaith Spiritual Center. It has one priest and one Mass on Sundays at 9:30A. I am a sudden expert on it thanks to Google.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 5:23 PM ET USA

    Hammer, I think this is what the N.O. Church calls "inculturation." In this case, Sklba is integrating Catholic culture with the pagan. Think Stonehenge.

  • Posted by: parochus - Dec. 13, 2006 4:47 PM ET USA

    Shrink and RPP, Don't be such sticklers about dates. Sklba's a Catholic bishop. I'm sure he considers the Solstice to be a moveable feast.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Dec. 13, 2006 4:21 PM ET USA

    Is "Great Spirit" supposed to represent God the Father? God the Trinity? God the Holy Spirit? Is this an American Indian parish and therefore a legitimate consideration of their historical heritage, or is it a bunch of annoying, lily-white, wannabee animists who are doing what they can to undermine their own European, Christian heritage?

  • Posted by: ladybird - Dec. 13, 2006 1:37 PM ET USA

    Marker/Shrink: Since my hubby is of the Chinese persuasion I know a little about calendars (you think you have trouble tracking relatives' birthdays!). Only two dates the Chinese abandon the Lunar Calendar to mark - Winter Solstice (more important to have a congenial/united family dinner on this date than any other in the calendar!); Ching-ming (Apr.5 - x days after Winter Solstice) "Honor Your Ancestors" Day - aka Grave-Tending Day. Winter Solstice is winter solstice no matter what culture!

  • Posted by: rpp - Dec. 13, 2006 12:06 PM ET USA

    Not only do they not get Church teachings right, they cannot even get paganism right. The Soltise is on December 21, not December 17, the day of their "celebration". I'll bet there are some interesting topics discussed in the CCD and RCIA classes at that parish.

  • Posted by: shrink - Dec. 13, 2006 12:00 PM ET USA

    Marker 30: Silly me! How could I have forgotten!

  • Posted by: Linus682 - Dec. 13, 2006 11:58 AM ET USA

    Awesome! Just wait for Spring...

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 10:14 AM ET USA

    Shrink - perhaps the Great Spirit has a different take on the gregorian adjustments

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Dec. 13, 2006 10:05 AM ET USA

    What a load of Sitting Bull.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 9:50 AM ET USA

    Sklba's a piker. Abp Chaput celebrated what is derisively referred to as the "Indian Feather Mass" or "Tom-Tom Mass" some years ago. That's right; Chaput had a medicine man, in pagan vestments, right behind him on the altar.

  • Posted by: shrink - Dec. 13, 2006 9:06 AM ET USA

    If only they could get the Solstice date correct. Better luck next year.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Dec. 13, 2006 7:50 AM ET USA

    I have to admire (or question) His Excellency for being such a brave (or foolish) skater and going so far out and away on thin ice. Another foot or so and, well, he might wind up where St. John Chrysostom issued his warnings (to bishops).

  • Posted by: Venerable Aussie - Dec. 13, 2006 7:33 AM ET USA

    My favourite pre-BP16 (just) quote comes from his homily to the College of Cardinals on 18 Apr 05 when he warned them to run a country mile from, inter alia, "vague religious mysticism". I've had recourse to use it many times this year at my daughter's high school when some of the teachers at her "in the Dominican tradition" school started waxing new-age-ish. Seems this bishop hasn't read the smoke signals. When it comes to episcopal appointments, raise the skill bar, I say!

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Lectures on Art and Faith in NYC 13 hours ago
Black Mass Thwarted in Oklahoma City 16 hours ago
A lesson in prudence: Stopping the Black Mass in Oklahoma City 19 hours ago
St. Paul on Helping those in Need August 25
2013-2014 Liturgical Year Volume 6 Released August 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8